Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three E-Z Steps for Better Grocery Shopping


I've been thinking of a new "invention" if you will. It serves to alleviate every one's headaches with grocery shopping but mostly it will just make me happy. Behold my draft letter to all grocery stores.

Dear Sir,

I am assuming that you are a man. I've never seen a picture of a woman grocery store manager. Forgive me if I'm wrong; however, if you are a female grocery store manager that looks like a man, you're probably used to the confusion.

If grocery shopping was a recognized skill, I would be considered an expert by now. However, I'm just another consumer. But what I represent is all consumers. I know you are gathering my statistical information from my debit card transactions. You're wanting me to take brief surveys. The clerks are always inquiring "Did you find everything you needed today?" and "How are you today?" Your information gathering leads me to believe that you're interested in my opinion. How beneficial for both of us, because I'm ready to talk.

THREE E-Z GROCERY STORE IMPROVEMENTS

1. Re-think your carts.
Does it make sense to have the coffee holder at the END of the cart? No, that's stupid. It needs to be on the handle. You'll also need a horn to make people move out of my way. I know you're concerned with the horn sound, so you should make the horn say different useful phrases like: "Tickle Tickle Tickle!!" "I'm more important than you!" and "This isn't a parking lot Fucker!" I would like a GPS ("Grocery Pointing System") that will point me in the right direction of the millet and other things that a 17-year old store clerk has never heard of. I would also like pointy things to shoot out of the end at other people, but I'll assume you will not entertain that suggestion due to liability and injury.

2. Segregation.
It's impossible for us all to shop together. I've taken the liberty of outlining some groups that would be compatible and the times they should be allotted.

a) Hootchie Mamas and Mid-Life Crisis Men. Men are the hunters, women are the gathers. This presents a traffic problem for both sides. Here, the Hootchie struts around with her "Juicy" sweats, CFM Pumps, Wonderbras, and Bump-its just demanding sexual attention. The Mid-Life Crisis Man is thereby side-tracked and stays in the store longer, throwing silly things in his cart to impress her like extra large condoms and Mens Health Magazine. The optimum shopping period is between 9:00 and 11:00 every night. The MLC Man will sneak out of the house to "pick up some shaving cream" and the Hootchie is getting her Cooks Sparkling Wine for later that night. Once there, they'll spend extra time and extra money. That's good for you, right?

b) Old people and Women without Children. Our senior citizens need someone to help with getting things off the shelf, counting their change, clipping their coupons, starting the scooter, reading the labels, etc. Obviously a woman without a child is the only person equipped to help, a man can't even touch a coupon or their masculinity will be tainted. A woman dragging their kids to the grocery store already has too many other jobs to do. It's only fair.

c) The Moms and Firefighters. This is a perfect pairing. We mothers have many unwritten rules that we follow that include, pulling your cart the right side and parking it. Having payment ready before you're at the register. Chatting with friends. Going down every isle just in case we're forgetting something (i.e., gathering), touching every single fruit and vegetable. We also forgive other moms when they have to say horrible things to their children like "No! Just hold in your poop, I'm not stopping in the bathroom AGAIN!" and "I will buy you anything in this store if you'll just shut up!" and other secret sayings we have. We are perfectly paired with firefighters because we make them feel great about themselves, and I just like having them around. So do my kids. We should have absolute control and power in the grocery store from 2:00pm to 8:30pm. During which time no old people, Mid-Life Crisis Men, Hootchie Mamas, or Women without Kids, are even allowed.

3. Buttons to wear that express your wishes.
a) Don't talk to me.
b) Extra Free Samples, Please.
c) I'm in a hurry.
d) P.M.S.
e) I'm usually better looking

I don't expect you to initiate all of these suggestions at once, but you should really consider the underlying message here: Get your act together and figure out what we really want!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's In Your Purse Today?


In my purse:

i.Phone. Listed here first because of its various lifesaving qualities. Without it, I would not be able to eavesdrop on police and fire radio traffic, check my horoscope, pump myself with funk-a-delic music, check the weather in Alaska and Central America, pop bubble rap, and text people because I hate to talk on the phone.

Rubber Poop. I carry this emergency rubber poop in my purse for various strategic purposes. It's most useful for saving your seat at a meeting or something. But it's really awesome for crowd control. That does not mean rubber poop will calm down a crowd. Just the opposite. I can control a crowd of tourists by covertly plopping the poop in the middle of a crowded walkway. I can make them hop, push, yell, giggle, straddle, gag, and cause mobile anarchy.

Medicine. Including, but not limited to, ibuprohen, anxiety medication, Benedryl, and an epi-pen in case someone goes into shock, then I get to stick 'em like in Pulp Fiction. *STAB*

The Evil Lip Liner. I don't know why it's still in here. I hate it for two reasons: 1) It is constantly trying to pass itself off as a pen so that I will pull it out when I'm trying to write a check in line. (side note: Checks are for losers). 2) I don't even have any lips to necessitate lining. They are so thin that once I put the lip liner on, there is very little need for the actual lipstick part since my whole lip in its entirety is covered by a thin line of blossoming plum.

Swiss Army Knife. I picked up this little gem at Aint Diane's estate. I tried to clip my daughter's toenail with the scissors but they were so lame that they bent her nail and then ripped it. "Ouch Mommy!" I live in a nice area so I haven't needed the knife for anything ... yet. I guess I just like it for the toothpick. I just used it two minutes ago to sweep out a piece of cilantro!

Measuring Tape. Left over from the days of interior design. I just can't imagine not having it it my purse. I use it all the time. Used it today, twice. Plus, if I'm trying to win over a little kid, I can use as bait to make them smile at me.

3 x 5 Notebook. For all my thoughts and lists. Oh my God the lists. Here's a few in the most recent pages:

* Rapid Fire Thoughts (listed are some ideas for stories that include "Fondue Festival" and "Apple Dolls and Crafts Fairs")

* Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein's addresses and telephone numbers, just in case I need to let them know how I feel and what I think is right and wrong and stupid.

* Party lists for three different family parties I've thrown in the last month, mostly it's about the fondue though, my new love.

* Sunglasses that I need to replace because my 23-year old son looked at me in utter shock and disgust. "Do you really wear those?" he laughed? He thought they were a prop, I guess. "I mean they look like you got them at a liquor store ... in Alaska!" "What' wrong with them?" I protested with a pout. "I see old men wearing these in Alaska, mom." Whatever asshole.

What's in your purse today? And if you're a man or some kind of a weird female who doesn't carry one, what's in your glove compartment?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

One Last Thing Before I Die

I was filling in some calendar dates on my iPhone yesterday when I realized that I was purposefully leaving clues so that, in the event of my murder or kidnapping, the authorities would be able to find me (or my body).

I sometimes fantasize about what my family would do without me, what kind of a eulogy I would get, who would pick out the music, will Kathy remember that she promised to remove and destroy anything that might embarrass me in my otherwise peaceful afterlife. I worry that I'll die before I finish each book so I try to read a little faster.

When I was seven I found a tiny little red spider in my bed. I had never ever seen one like it before so I considered it might be deadly. I also assumed it had already bitten me and I might be slowly dying. Even then I had a knack for the melodrama so I wrote a note on a piece of paper and tucked it under my pillow so it could be found during the discovery of my body. It simply said "it was a little red spider that killed me"

So just in case this is my last day, I need to tell you something important:

Watch "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" on FX tonight at 10pm. It's really good.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Cowboy, a Blackout, and a Horse

I went to Texas for a family reunion when I was 19-years old. This was right after I did the hair show for Sebastian Hair products where they used me to introduce one of their newest colors: Banana Yellow. [what do you mean I haven't blogged that story yet! On it.]

To the average Texan, I looked like a wicked city girl straight out of that crazy MTV show on the TV. I was the closest thing they had ever seen to Cyndi Lauper and believe me, I was not embraced by adoring fans.

I walked into a Circle K for a pack of smokes and stood at the counter watching while the clerk rang up everyone in a pair of Lee's first. Then after everyone had left, it was my turn. The leper. I didn't get her standard southern greeting "How ya'll doin' today?". I just got a hateful stare right and silence. After asking for my brand again, she slid them across the counter so that she wouldn't catch my yankeeness (I'm sure they think its a real disease affiliated with that AIDS that came over from homosexual monkeys from Africa).

Back at the family home, one of the rancher's boys invited me out to a party. Or I might have just insisted so he took me. I probably forced myself on this guy with a promise of "a good time." Sucker.

The party was at a large hall with banquet tables, streamers, and lot of free beer. He walked in with me and quickly set me down one of the folding chairs. There was country music, cowboy boots, and line dancing. Some two-step too. But nobody would come near me. And that's the last thing I remember about the party.

Fast forward to 1:00am. The cowboy must have rolled me out of his truck in front of the family homestead where I managed to climb two flights of stairs in a house that's probably 200 years old. Most of my immediate family was sleeping there and my stumbling footsteps thundered through the quiet halls and into the tiny old bathroom with the light you turned on by pulling a chain.

I pulled my tight spandex pants down to pee and that's when I found my crotch was entirely a deep black and blue. I was horrified to think what must have just happened to me. All I could remember was a lot of pissed off cowboys and their bitchy uptight girlfriends giving me hard looks while I drank, and drank, and drank. Me with my banana yellow Flock of Seagulls hairdo and spandex rocker-girl pants.

I panicked and ran to my mother's room so she could panic too. Thud thud thud .... "Mom! Look what happened to me! What's wrong with me?!" I cried as I spread eagle for my poor mother who was still half dreaming in the moonlight room of her youth. I dragged her into the bathroom for another look and she was stumped. "Oh I don't know what that is Sharon!" she said concerned-like. "Does it hurt?" "Kind of" I replied, but there was no other information. No more answers or clues, so I passed out.

It wasn't until the next morning when I remembered I had gone horseback riding ... drunk. Instead of posting with he saddle, I just banged into it, again and again and again. I was kind of limp and rubbery so I hung on for a long time. Even though the horse tried hard to get me off by jumping over stuff, running me into the fence, and just refusing to budge.

Here we are twenty-something years later and I still don't know if it was the cowboy or the horse. Everything is big in Texas.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Magic Incantation for Finding Things

The minute I say this out loud:
"I think [name] stole my [thing]"
it will magically appear and thus remind me that I'm a paranoid anti-social lame brain because it was right where I left it. Either in that special place where I'll remember it later. Or the secret drawer where nobody ever looks. That's why I can never accuse anyone to their face. I have to say it behind their back so that I don't owe anyone an apology. Because there's nothing worse than saying "I'm sorry." Except for maybe "I was wrong."

After I had finished removing the truckloads of trash from Ain't Diane's house and after the estate sale, we called in the Salvation Army to remove the final remnants of an overly gathered life. However, when I returned the next day I looked for my expensive vacuum and it wasn't there! I had specifically asked my mother to put a note on it and not let them take it. But no, it was gone. It was the final nail in my resentment coffin engraved with "Thanks a lot, Aunt Diane."

I was so full of self-pity and righteous indignation that I had to spend an hour composing myself before I even spoke to my mom. I tried to have a forgiving spirit. Then I tried to talk myself out of wanting it back because it was used to suck up all the rat shit while I kept saying in my head "they're only Raisinettes, they're only Raisinettes, they're only Raisinettes." I reflected on my poor mother's stress in loosing her sister and dealing with the estate. How could I expect her to keep track of my one thing? I tried to give the vacuum to the universe saying "It has gone on to someone who needed it more" and that just made me want to drive to Salvation Army and yank it from some poor person's hands. "Mine!" I'd say. Nothing worked.

At last, I reached a fake gentle tone in my heart and called my mom to ask about it. She was seriously apologetic and took it all on herself. My youngest daughter hugged me and said "I'm sorry the Army guys took your vacuum, mom." Sigh. My mom gave me $200 to replace it. Instead of saying thank you, I said something shitty like "Well, I suppose that will be a start. It was a very expensive vacuum, mom."

I researched my options on the Internet, reading reviews from consumers and experts alike. It took me three days. I went to three different local stores so that I could feel, lift, push, and open them. After all that, I simply went to Sears and purchased the exact same model I had before and it was less than $200. I asked for some bags because I hate running out and plus I wanted to spend all of that $200. Then they gave me the receipt which I had to drive all the way over to the loading dock. While waiting in the line, I tell someone who doesn't care that my vacuum was taken by the Army guys. Finally they brought out a large box and told me it was light enough for me to lift and carry myself. Thanks.

It was so cumbersome that it sat in the back of my car for another day before I lugged it in my front door. I brought the little plastic bag of vacuum bags over to my new hall closet to "put them where they go" and guess what was standing there staring at me? My old vacuum. I swear it was mocking me. My first instinct was: Hide it, nobody has to know.

I went with my second intuition (which seems to always be better than my first) and called my mom and confessed. She laughed so hard I could hear her eyes closing and I pictured her leaning way back in her little office chair. Like the good mom that she is she laughed at my ridiculousness. I returned the vacuum to the stupid loading dock which has all the ambiance of the Planned Parenthood office in B.F. Egypt.

As of today, I'm missing my giant cutting board that I just bought and my bread knife. I'm pretty sure one of my girlfriends snatched it either during a party or they broke in afterwards and ran away with it. So, now that I've officially blamed someone else, I'm ready to find them in some conspicuous place that makes me feel horrible about myself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lucky the Turtle


There's something about naming your pet "Lucky" that invites irony. This pet turtle lost his legs in a UFC fight with a raccoon but he didn't let that slow him down. His owners forked out $900 to to amputate his front legs and glue on these furniture sliders. Here's the whole story that I know you need to know about.

If I lost my legs in a fight with a raccoon, I'd like to have them replaced with one or two of the following prosthetics:
a) Giant springs
b) A replica of Cheryl Crow's legs
c) Machine guns (a la Planet Terror)

Now in my extensive research (i.e., Google) I've found a blog entirely devoted to animals in casts. Just for the record, I also love to watch people fall. Even old people. I'm wicked.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Steve the Turtle


Sean was five. He needed a pet like he needed candy. Bad. It took years for him to discover the truth about me: I'm incapable of keeping living things alive. Unless it makes noise it's doomed to a slow dry death. Crying and whining is an audible alarm system that nature has put inside children so that their parents will do anything to make them stop. Including, and not limited to, shopping, cooking, feeding, and cleaning.

Back then we lived in an apartment in a town that people made fun of. But it was affordable for me. Being a "renter" meant we were limited to the types of pets we could own. There was always a contractual ban on any animal that might be, in the slightest of ways, fun. Birds are too loud, fish tanks are to heavy, dogs are too destructive, cats pee too much.

Little Sean begged and begged to have a turtle and since this seemed like an inexpensive animal to own, he was given a little green box turtle with red marks on the side of his head. He looked pretty sporty. For a turtle. I thought it might be a hermaphrodite, or at least a-sexual. But we decided that he looked masculine. Most turtles do unless they have a bow on their head and even then, they just look like a bad present. So we named him Steve. We got a terrarium and a dish. The feeding instructions were simple: Fresh vegetables and water.

Perhaps Steve was happy in the beginning. When Sean picked him up his fat legs would wiggle up into the shell like four cold green weenies. Sean tried to teach him his name by sitting down on the carpet and slapping his thighs. "Steve! Here Stevie! Come on, Steve!" But the turtle couldn't learn anything. Quickly Sean lost interest and the turtle became sedentary, like a paperweight on Valium. Steve didn't know how to market himself. The tank became smelly and dingy. This made the turtle super unattractive to us. Sean would dutifully throw in some lettuce, shredded carrots and fill up the mayonnaise lid with water. But the turtle just sat there and stank.

One day, Bob, a friend who happened to work for Animal Control, visited. Sean was pleased to show off his pet turtle and he took Bob into his room. Quickly Bob stomped back into the living with an angry look on his face and said to me, quite rudely "Did you notice something was wrong with the turtle?" Besides being a stinky, boring, sexless, rock, no we hadn't noticed anything. "Well did you notice that it wasn't eating any of the food you keep dropping in?" Understandably one would assume that would be noticeable. "Or the smell? Didn't you notice the tank stinks like shit?!" Well of course that was quite noticeable but we were willing to accept the turtle's aroma since it didn't have other bad habits like barking or smoking.

With nothing but blank looks and shrugging shoulders in response, Bob finally got to the point "How long has that turtle been dead?!" He was disgusted with his discovery. Frankly Steve's prognosis resolved a lot of problems we had with him and he became more interesting.

That's why we don't have plants.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Attention Transvestites and Cross-Dressers


I was sitting around with my girlfriends the other night, before the Ain't Diane Estate Sale, boring them with the overwhelming details of trying to unload 70 years of unnecessary habitual collections and treasures in one week. One of the most difficult items to find homes for was her clothes. She was at least 6' tall, wore size 12 shoe, and her bra was a 42DDFF. Not everyone could just slip on one of her outfits and go on a job interview.

One of the girls suggested that transvestites and cross-dressers would really appreciate her wardrobe. Seriously brilliant! So I put an ad on Craigslist something like this:

ATTENTION TRANSVESTITES AND CROSS-DRESSERS

Here's an estate sale for you!
Size 12 womens dress shoes
Size L and XL clothing for a 6 foot person
Plus Giant Bras!


I was thrilled at the prospect of placing Ain't Diane's clothing on someone spectacular. Someone in need. Someone with a size 12 foot! I fantasized about High School track coaches and Hewlet Packard engineers riffling through her beaded dresses and leather fringe jackets exclaiming "Oh My God! Can you believe this fits me?!" I wanted to see her giant multicolored sling backs on a big hairy man walking in the next Freedom Day Parade. I wanted to bring some adventure to these clothes. Ain't Diane would love it.

Before the estate sale, I received this message:

hi, wow you actually sell my size shoes-12....can you tell me what style shoes
and general condition as would have to drive from far away, do you have many ? thanks,
Bob


I just loved Bob already. I was warm all over thinking that he'd find some shoes that would fit him. I know how hard it was for Diane, so being a man it must be a constant process of disappointment. Too high, too narrow, too small, too boring.

On the day of the sale, I was waiting with great anticipation and enthusiasm for all the trannies and cross-dressers who'd arrive with their colorful tote bags and cash. I assumed most would arrive in their man clothing so they might be a little difficult to spot right away. But I'd look for big men with a little twinkle in their eye that said "I've got a secret." I watched for men who seemed nervous or uncomfortable and I was going to help them select some items and support them. I was ready for them.

Nothing. Only little tiny Mexican women were buying these tremendously gargantuan clothing. I couldn't conceive of what they'd do with a size 12 ladies shoe, but a buck is a buck. Then finally a large man walked in with a twinkle in his eye. His hair was all gerry curled out and his voice was sing-songy. Ah ah!!! Found one! He looked through things around the house with little interest and I wondered if he was trying to get up the nerve to rummage through the closets. I decided that I should take him under my wing.

"Excuse me, are you Bob?" I asked somewhat suspiciously.
"No. My name is Manny." and he looked at me like I'm crazy.
"Oh, can I help you find anything?" I said with hopefulness.
"No, I'm just here with my wife." Bummer.

It was sad, really. He would have looked better in the creme colored Liz Claiborne suit with the gold peek-a-boo sandals.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Ain't Diane

Please forgive me Aunt Diane. I'm about to lay it all out for everyone to share the experience of cleaning up after a lifetime of your gathering. I hope you are in an enlightened place where monetary items are laughable and watching your loved ones handle it is amusing.

When I calendar Aunt Diane on my iTouch, it comes out "Ain't Diane." Now that's true, isn't it? Because she ain't Diane no more. What's left in this house is some mementos of an exciting and energetic life. Too bad its mixed in with crazy stuff. Perhaps you can't have one without the other?

I arrive in her little mobile home village in a quaint little town and I park next to her car that we'll be lucky to sell for $500. I'm more inclined to donate it to the fire department for extrication exercises. It's a Ford Escort with a manual transmission. That's right, you have to shift it with your Starbucks hand. Maybe I could sell it to a Mormon.

I walk up to her large front porch with gigantic sprawling dead plants the size of a Janet Jackson. They're trying to stay alive, stretching out their tentacles to gather some moisture in the fake green indoor-outdoor grass/carpet that's tucked under the aluminum edges. But I stomp over the top of the leaves on the way to the front door because I don't have any extra time or energy to keep something alive. And I don't care. Because I'm mad that I'm here doing this.

My mom gave me my own key which slides in with all the ease of a porn star screwing Joan Rivers without lubrication. I just have to shove it and wiggle it until I get it far enough in that I can start cranking the little lock open until my fingers burn. The door opens and the smell wafts out and makes me recall my last trip to the zoo. I'm always disappointed when I open the door because every thing's still there. No robbery or fire yet.

Every room in the double-wide was filled from wall to wall and ceiling to floor with old boxes and stacks of papery things. There was a dark walkway that wound from the back door to the kitchen and then to the bedroom which was like walking in a cavern of garbage. The first time I entered was after she had died. I had never seen the inside of this home before, but the Sheriff's department warned me that it was bad. I could see it on their faces; pity for me because I was tagged by Fate "You're It!" and the smugness that they felt because they could just get in their vans and drive home but I was going to stay.

The first time I walked in I wasn't afraid of the mess, or germs, or the horrible things that come out of a body when it lays there for seven days in July. I was afraid of her ghost. [I watched too many scary movies as a young child and now I'm scarred for life]. I said out loud "I'm just here to help mom, she can't do this by herself" and since there was no answer i.e., bleeding walls, crashing dishes, or ectoplasm fountains coming from the sinks and toilets, I thought she approved of my presence.

I must say that after being there for two weeks, I was sort of disappointed that Ain't Diane didn't at least try and make contact. But then again, maybe she was moving things around the whole time and we couldn't tell.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Not Dead, But Aunt Diane Is

After laying alone in her little messy mobile home for what the coroner estimates as six days. Six hot July days. The police department found my dead aunt. There she was all six feet of her laid out naked on her bed.

She slept naked, I'm sure. My mother's family had a propensity to want to be naked a lot, probably as a result of growing up in boiling hot Texas temperatures with girdles, stiff bras, and up-dos. As a matter of fact, their mother was kicked out of a nursing home because she refused to put clothes on.

My sisters have fond memories of Grandmother sitting on park benches without panties, airing out her Lily. She was a fine Texas lady, don't get me wrong. She grew roses, married the mayor, and went to finishing school. She complied and acquiesced and used all her charm and grace. It seems that going without panties might have been her only holdout. The last chance she had to rebel.

My mom and her sister were very close and shared their interests in all the arts. They are tall, like me. And red-headed. Its hard not to be opinionated and bossy when you look like us. This presented Aunt Diane and Mom with a bit of a competitive edge. As a matter of fact, when my mom found out that Aunt Diane had died, she said "Damn it!" I asked her what's the matter. She replied "She learned everything she needed know before I did so she gets to move on. Now I'm stuck here with all her shit!" I know, it's totally true. We are stuck with all her shit, and there's a lot of it mixed in with the treasures.

Mom and I believe that we are sent here to learn lessons and once you've learned them, you get to move on. Since Mom is older, I'm sure she's feeling a bit left behind. But I told her not to learn too much too fast, because I want her to stay longer.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I Am Not Dead

Me and my posse are packing up the house and moving into a new house. The new house is not finished. There are inspectors, and fire requirements, and checks to write. It is exciting and frantic and tedious. I'm overwhelmed with my "blessings" and have been unable to post anything for a while.

The Good News:

We might finish up this week and then I can write more Blogger Queen Adventures and restaurant reviews for Uptake, if I don't get fired first.

I finally figured out how to track the visitors to Bloggerqueen and I'm so excited! I have visitors from Australia, Ireland (my personal favorite), India, UK, Canada, and of course right here in the good ole' US of A.

My mind has been spinning with tales, but my fingers have not found the time for typing. Seriously, I haven't even straightened my bangs for three weeks. So please forgive me. I'll be back soon.

Your Queen,
Sharon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

5 Things People Don't Tell You


If you've ever had a sneaking suspicion that there are things people aren't telling you, you're right. The paranoia you feel around a group of strangers is justified. Here are 5 things that I think you should know:

1. You know the Thank You cards that you hate to write? You put them off as long as you can. It's worse than ironing or doing the bills. The guilt you feel for not being a caring thoughtful person seeps into your psyche until finally you get those little suckers out in the mail. The secret is that's how everyone else feels too! It's not just you. Every Thank You card you've ever received preceded along the above path. Most people would sacrifice the present rather than write another obligatory Thank You card. That's why whenever I give a present, I say "... and as part of your present, I'm letting you off the hook for the Thank You card. I insist that you do not send me one." They are forever grateful. For real.

2. If you have to ask someone if the pants make you look fat, they do. Follow your instincts on this one. By the way, it may not be the pants, it might just be your butt. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm only trying to help. Sometimes the truth hurts, but so do tight pants.

3. Everyone is tired. So don't expect any pity from us.

4. When someone says "Well good for you" and their head tilts just a little to the side and their voice sounds sweet like a nurse about to give a shot ... they're really trying to say something else like: "Are you fucking kidding me?" or "You bitch! You get everything I want!" or "You are a complete moron." Just wait until the next person says "Well good for you" and you'll understand what a patronizing passive aggressive slap in the face this really is. So you should just flip them off and walk away and scream "Well good for you too!!!"

5. If you believe you know what your teenager is doing, just you wait until they turn 23 and tell you all the things they got away with. You are not as cool as you think you are.

The aforementioned 5 Things People Don't Tell You is based solely on own my self-centered perspective and wretched experiences. You may see things differently. In any event, I'm still right.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Inside the Restaurant Review


I'm happily married. What a drag, because I'd just love to do that Match.com thing? I don't want to date anyone or meet anyone or certainly not cheat on my husband. I only want to know who or what they'd fix me up with. Would Match.com know me better than I know myself? Would it be an engineer who loves to polka? A UFC fight trainer with a Hummer? An anti-war activist in tan corduroys and patchouli oil?

It think Internet dating would be comparable to when I'm clothes shopping with a friend and she picks something out for me. Proudly holding it up above the racks and shouting from across the store "Sharon! This is perfect for you!" and one of two things happen: 1) I'm flattered that she thinks I'd look great in something from Juniors; or 2) I realize my friend knows absolutely nothing about me and should be fired or given away to an old lady because that's who she's good at shopping for.

When I did my restaurant review this morning for Uptake.com I was completely uninspired and didn't feel like doing anything. My first thought was to just post a picture and write "You figure it out!" It's harder than I thought to pull creativity out of my ass on a blank day. But that, my dear, is precisely why I do it. Training.

I like this review. I hope you do too. It made me chuckle.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Bitter Curse


We all fill out little cards for contests, buy lotto scratchers, and bid on an auction item you don't even want just for the sake of charity. You never think you'll actually win, but sometimes you might fantasize about marching into your bosses office and nailing him with a squirt gun full of pee pee "I'm rich and I quit!" Or driving to the gym in your Porche Boxter and parking next to the skinny young bitch who always hogs all the equipment and commenting "What a pretty color. Did all the 1987 Ford Fiestas come in that color or did you have it painted special?"

Uptake is the travel website I write restaurant reviews for and they were having a pretty great contest thanks to the Silverado Resort. I never win contests, but I thought I'd win this one because 1) I was entering into it for my friends and that's uncommonly altruistic of me. So I thought the Universe would say "Hey! Sharon's being generous, let's give her a prize"; and 2) We deserved it more than the other entrants. I'm not making this claim based on anything but logic. I offer the evidence for your review. Read the winning post and then read Blogger Queen's entry post.

The winning post was from "My Misanthropic Musings" and while I'm sure that prior to winning this contest Lisa Crovo Dion was a perfectly nice woman, she is now a horrible person for winning this contest. Don't try and talk me out of hating her. I've already tried praying about it and meditating on her and her little friends deserving it more and needing it more. But it didn't work. Then I contemplated that perhaps their Girls Spa Weekend would be riddled with scorching sunburns, cat fights, and volcanic hangovers and that did make me feel a tiny bit better.

In spite of all this self-analysis and reflection I'm still bitter and thus I've decided there is something that must be done about it. An amends. I think her and her little friends owe me and my little friends an amends. I think it should come in the form of a postcard from their vacation. I want to know that they feel extremely guilty and they all wish the Blogger Queen and Friends could be there to join them. Please head over to her blog and tell her she needs to take care of this for the sake of her own kharma.

If they don't, I'll put upon them the following curse:

"May your children contract lice when you put your house on the market and your husband's away on business. And for those without children or husbands, may you get crabs"

See? We should have won.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Where's the Queen?

I've hacked into some other blogger's blog and I've taken over! Come and see what I'm writing about on Petunia Face. I'm also on Uptake.

Miss me? Come and see me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Godzilla v. Mothra


I am the best mom ever. I've introduced my 8-year old daughter to the world of giant monsters. This is a little girl that cannot even watch commercials for movies where people die, but monsters, well that's an entirely different thing.

She first watched Godzilla v. Mothra with me on Mothers' Day. I also rented Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein. If you've ever seen a Godzilla film in your life, you'll remember this one because of the identical tiny twin Japanese ladies that are carried around in a box. When the box is opened the little tiny twins sing to summon Mothra who will protect Tokyo from Godzilla. Epic.

The day after we watched these movies, she transfixed herself with King King. It was the '70s version with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. The giant mechanical gorilla head was later used in the Universal Tour in Hollywood. Did you see that one?

When I was little I watched Creature Features every Saturday night. It was a locally produced show with host Bob Wilkens. He was my favorite kind of funny, the dry kind. He sat in a yellow rocking chair in a funky cheap horror set while smoking a thick cigar. Here's a quote ...

"Weird Women. This is a story about witchcraft, the occult, mysticism, price fixing and tire rotation. I think you'll like it."

It was Mr. Wilkens that introduced me to the great Vincent Price in The Tingler. As you'll see, the movie starts with a serious warning that you'll be given special protective equipment in order to safely watch the movie so that you don't become ... infected. To my dispair, I was stuck in my little bedroom watching my black and white television and therefore had no equipment to shield me from The Tingler except the blanket resting on my nose and under my eyes for quick hiding.

Another Vincent Price classic was The House of Wax. It was about a disfigured crazy man who used dead bodies inside his wax sculptures. This movie made it almost impossible to walk through the San Francisco Wax Museum because I'd look at those deep glass eyes and wonder if at least one of them wasn't made out of a real person, especially Marie Antoinette. Creepy.

I've already wrecked my son who, at the age of 23, is still afraid of zombies thanks to The Night of the Living Dead, my all time most frightening movie. That's the movie that made it impossible for me and my son to walk up the driveway in the dark because we knew there was something following us. Close on our heels. Any moment ... Aaahhghg "We're coming to get you, Sharon"!

We're not afraid of silly things like robberies, rapists, and earthquakes. It's the Blair Witch and the Zombies that will finally be the end of us. Of course the dark powers will make it look like an accident, but don't believe it.

Like I said, I'm the world's greatest mom.

Friday, May 22, 2009

New Equipment for Moms


Summer had mentioned in her recent post that she can feed two babies and help another with homework simultaneously. This is the epitome of mothering and woman-ness. Multitasking. It's a skill that nature gave us in order to handle all the things that come to our attention. We gather information, facts and mix it with our experience and formulate solutions. While our brothers on this planet see one thing at a time and cannot handle more than one task in a day. But nature should have included some of the following equipment to make us even more efficient.

Shelves. I want to have several shelves installed on my body to put plates and cups on so I won't have to make ten trips to the table.

Drawers. If I had drawers installed in my body I would never loose my keys or glasses again. Plus I could keep my cellphone and pepper spray in there.

Spikes. Although I'm very emotionally spiky at times and people stay clear when I have my angry face on, I would still appreciate spikes that I could launch on command.

Volume. A volume dial on my ears would be so helpful for ignoring crying, whining, screaming, and idiotic tween goofy-ness.

Four Eyes. I'd like to actually have the eyes in the back of my head that I've been advertising all these years.

Tight Tummy. Now this has no practical use or reason. I just don't understand why something this important has to fall apart? Why did nature have to take this away from me. I know, I know, exercise, diet, lipo, blah blah blah. NO! I just can't hassle with all that nonsense. I just wanted it naturally granted to me.

I'm going to visit with a plastic surgeon and ask for an estimate. I would argue that these suggestions would make life easier and make much more sense than big boobs, tight eyes, golden skin, and long nails. Seriously.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Praying from the bottom of a Toilet

Today I'm wearing my maternity pants. I'm not pregnant, I just wanted some support. I like the gentle soft hug it gives my tummy. I also have on my Birkenstock sandals that make me look like Jesus' fat sister. Plus, as if the first two items weren't bad enough, a tie-dyed t-shirt.

I am also wearing a frown. My life has taken the fast train to Shitville and I'm looking for a good old fashioned fist fight with a stranger in the grocery store.

I'm trying to walk around all peaceful and in total knowledge that there is a Higher Power, a Great River, a Giant Ball of String or Something that is in charge here.

Dear Bigger Thing than Me,

I pray that all the sick and lost souls are cured and saved. I am grateful that I have my health and my family. I hope that tomorrow I'll be a better person than I was today. But most of all, please let me win that contest!

Thank you,
Your Loyal Servant and Blogger Queen

Friday, May 15, 2009

Please God, Let me Win?

Not only do I write posts for my very own blog (this one), but I'm also a restaurant reviewer for Uptake. Since I'm story teller and not a food connoisseur, I write my reviews in the form of fictional fables. As far as I know I'm the first and only food reviewer to do this. I did Fictional Fables with Food because writing food reviews is BORING for me, so I have to conjure up ridiculous stories about CIA agents, blind dates with British men, marriage proposals, and nudity in order to keep me entertained and, hopefully, you.

Uptake is having a contest for the bloggers. The prize is a Girls Getaway for Four at the Silverado Resort in Napa, California, but first I have to "deserve" it and it must be a family friendly story.

I do deserve it and its because I've had to deal with the worst family problem in the whole entire world. It's yucky and messy and humiliating. It's an issue that many of you have encountered but none of you want to talk about: Lice.

Early this week I discovered "them" and instantly started the phone calls to her three best friends, her gym, and the schools. I tried to stay calm and take an enlightened approach, saying to myself and others "hey man, it's not a reflection of bad parenting. It's just something that happens to kids with hair." But inside I felt like a peasant from the 16th century.

I kept both daughters out of school that day so that we wouldn't infect all the other "nice" children. Here are the things you have to do when your child comes home with lice:

1. Freak out.
2. Analyze your own head. Is it itchy because you're psychosomatic or do you have critters too?
2. Pick through your children's hair to identify "them"
3. Make mortifying phone calls to anyone who's come into contact with your family for the past week.
4. Go to the pharmacy and buy $100 worth of Nix or Rid or whatever.
5. Shampoo and apply stinky horrible medicine on EVERYONE's head for 10 hours. Do not just do a 10-minute treatment like the box says because now they are resistant to it.
6. Walk around in your house with shower caps on and pray to God that nobody comes to the door.
7. Wash every sheet, comforter, pillow, rug that you can. If you can't wash it, it has to go in a plastic airtight bag for four weeks. Bye bye down comforters!
8. Vacuum every single thing in your house: Mattresses, sofas, rugs, floors.
9. You know the box of hair do-dads? Well, they all have to be boiled for 10 minutes.
10. Nitpick. That means use a grid system to analyze every single hair on your kid's head and pick off the left-over eggs. This takes hours.
11. Continue nitpicking, vacuuming, washing for at least a week to catch any rogue critters.

As if this wasn't bad enough, we had just sold our house and the agent called and wanted to do a "walk-through". Oh perfect timing. This is about the time I had a complete mental breakdown.

Two days later was the youngest daughter's Open House. All of our friends and acquaintances knew about our new "pets." That's why when people kept commenting on how great my hair looked, I'd reply "I'm using a new shampoo. Perhaps you've heard?" and they'd laugh.

Katia's three best friends' moms and me have been in complete hell for four days and although we are completely lice-free and our houses are cleaner than they've ever been, ever, we are spent. In my opinion, having a child with head lice is worse than leprosy because at least with leprosy things fall off and you can just walk away.

Although the other three mommies have been my friends for years, nothing has brought us closer together. We are the survivors of the same shipwreck. We are going to make bracelets that say "Not a Lousy Mother" on them. We are going to start a support group for other moms because I'm sure we all have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

We are going to loose our minds if we cannot get away for a weekend of spa treatments, sleeping-in, pampering, no children. We can get away sometime this summer for a hard-earned Girls Getaway! And yes, Silverado, we will be sparkling clean guests. Promise.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Bad Mothers Day

Sunday was Mothers Day. It was for all the good mothers in the U.S. who deserved a Hallmark card, flowers from the grocery store, and a weird breakfast made of dry cereal in a bowl with black olives on top. Then they got to pretend to eat it while their child stood watching with a look of great excitement and pride.

But today, Monday, I would like to officially claim as Bad Mothers Day because let's face it, yesterday was a disappointment. All we really wanted was to be left alone for one day. To wake up late and have coffee brought to us. We wanted everyone to plan their own food. We didn't want to go to any games, picnics, swim parties, luncheons, or pancake breakfasts. Us Bad Mommies would like one day without a million responsibilities.

If you can check off at least two items below, you'll qualify as a Bad Mother and you can have today to do whatever the hell you want to do or not do.

1. Forget that it's Early Pick-up Day at school and get the dreaded phone call from the somewhat condescending school secretary telling you your child has been waiting for you for 30 minutes in front of the school. You race right over and make-up a string of lies and excuses on the way.

2. Offer your six-year old child a tub of ice cream and a spoon if they'll just let you sleep in for another hour.

3. Assign an entire section of the family photo album to be titled "Sean's Bathroom Pictures" and hold it over his head throughout high school.

5. Hide the last cookie behind your back as your child comes into the kitchen and asks for it. "Sorry, you must have eaten them all. Way to go."

6. Give them cold medicine when they're not really sick because the directions clearly state "Use only when needed" and you really needed them to go to sleep.

7. Give them Tylenol and send them to school.

8. Fake a phone call to their friend's house and relay the bad news "Looks like they're not home. Guess we'll have to schedule a play date for another day."

9. You let your 2nd grader wear make-up.

10.Your child has lice

Here's to you Bad Mothers of America. Go get a mall massage, a cup of coffee, and watch daytime tv. Plan a nice fresh hot pizza for dinner and fake a headache at 6:30 so you don't have to tuck the kids in and read stories. Go ahead, you deserve at least one day a year.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Time for "The Talk"


My daughter had "Life Class" last week. If I was in charge I'd rename it "It's Not Fair: What's Going to Happen to you Next!"

I've already explained to Katia everything she needs to know anyway, but it was nice for the teacher to tell her again. I've lost a lot of credit with Katia because I don't know how to do square routes or decimal dividing and stuff like such as that. Der. I was forced to tell her the horrible forebodings of her future when, one day, I was exiting the shower. Katia was jabbering about something incredibly important, so important that it couldn't' wait until I was all the way out of the shower and dried off. I was watching her face as she was talking when her eyes fell downward and then she stopped. She just stopped in mid-sentence and her eyes popped open like a Chinese fish on a platter.

"Mom! You have trash coming out of you!" she gasped.

I looked down at the little Tiffany blue string hanging down and quickly wrapped my towel around my waist. Busted. Time for "The Talk".

I told her how Mommy's have a blessing each month. I told her all about Eve and how she should never have eaten that damned apple. If she hadn't, we would never have to buy tampons, pads, and tons and tons of panties. I told her that this is why we shouldn't be able to vote or run for public office. Then we sat down at watched Carrie together. It was a special mother/daughter moment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Did Martha Stewart Decorate her Cell?


I've been a little sidetracked. We're putting our house on the market this week and it's a hellavalota work. I'll catch up on everyone's blogs, comments, and postings after Friday when we (and that's the royal We) can breathe a sigh of relief. For about 20 minutes, then we'll have to keep our house clean until it sells.

I'll be like Joan Crawford meets Martha Stewart. Following my children around the house with a long wooden spoon "Clean Up That Sock!! Flush that Toilet!! Don't touch That!!" My eyes will be red and glazed. My bangs will be fuzzy and weird. My toenail polish will be chipped. I'll be a mess.

I'm trying to have all the spiritual good thoughts and prayers for a nice family to move in and make my old neighbors happy. I meditate that everything will be fair and just and honest. But then I get yanked by the ankle down into the well of Selfish Thoughts and I don't care who moves in, just as long as I get my money. I said "my" but it's not. It's ours. I'm selfish in the purist sense. For instance, when I take people to the new house, I show them "my" kitchen and "my" bedroom. The curse of a spoiled child all grown-up and trying to be a wife and mother.

Just a couple more days ...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crying Indians and Smoking Babies

I remember when the giant stores started closing. The Good Guys, an electronics chain, closed first. Like ants at a picnic, we rushed in and bought a giant TV at a pretty decent price. As the days and weeks dragged on, their inventory was reduced to 80's movies, cords to obsolete equipment, and display racks. The security guard checked receipts at the front door with the enthusiasm of a toll booth operator on qualudes. It was depressing.

The Good Guys had paid for a mega sign to hang over their moribund [thank you Merriam-Webster Thesaurus] doors that read "We're Closing" but after time the left side of the sign lost it's will to hang on and flapped down over the "C" thereby leaving an ominous warning of the months to come "We're losing."

Deadly food allergies are on the rise, global warming, crime, oh it's just ghastly. A real downer. So I want to remind you of the advances we've made and how, in some areas, life is a little better than it was.

* When I was a little girl, people used to throw their napkins, wrappers, cups, etc., right out the car window on the freeway. Then some TV commercial with a crying Indian changed the world ... with only THREE CHANNELS! We the People felt guilty and realized we couldn't just keep treating the roads like a dump. In many countries it's still completely acceptable to litter. Here in California, if someone throws a wrapper out the window they'll surely be chased down by a 1963 Volvo with an angry tree hugger inside and scolded for their shit-headism.

* When I gave birth to my son in 1986, they gave me a "smoking room" in the hospital. I'm not kidding you. I shared the room with another young mommy who smoked and, like me, had a cesarean so we were stuck in there for a week. I remember the nurse calling out from the hallway "Put out your cigarettes ladies! I'm bringing in the babies!"

* Here's what I ate for dinner every night when I was little: Fried hamburger patty, white rice with butter, canned spinach. I was allergic to milk so my mom gave me Hi-C.

You have to admit that in some areas life and the planet are better off than they were. Don't buy into the idea that everything is awful all the time. Eat a hot dog and get over it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Never Answering the Door Again

Ding Dong! I answer the door.

"Is this your lawn?" says the big sweaty man with a beer belly and a wiener dog. He's wiping buckets of sweat from his forehead with a dirty rag while he scans my shabby lawn with disgust.

"Yes." I say flatly so to express my disinterest in anything he has to offer.

"Are you going to keep watering it like this?" He says like a father who has found out his teenager is running the car without oil.

"We're moving." I hope this will make him give up and walk away. I've been dispensing prickly fevered anxiety needles throughout my pores all day and so far it has not worked at all. People keep talking to me.

A long pause. He does not turn and leave nor even step back. He wipes his wet face again and thinks about his next line, which is this. "Why are you moving!?" Not a quizzical small talk question, more like demand.

"Why not?" I said, since it's none of his business.

"Are you moving local?" he blurts whilst still avoiding eye contact and checking out my lawn.

"Yes. In a couple of weeks. So we don't have any money right now."

The man seems irritated at this news. As if I've really let him down. "Where's all your money?!"

"Its at the new house!" I started to feel a little defensive.

"So you've spent all your money on a house in the same place as your old house. [not a question, a recall statement of dismay and scorn]

"Yep." and I stood their waiting with my hand on my hip for his next tactical salesmanship question or perhaps a PowerPoint presentation. But he just turned and walked away. Not a good-bye or a screw you. His little wiener dog followed him.

He hopped into his repainted U-haul truck and left my neighborhood.

The lesson here is: Never open the door for a sweaty man with a little weiner.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Come, Look into my Cave


Having our house on the market is like going to the gynecologist. I have everything all cleaned-up and smelling purty, but there is no getting away from the feeling that my legs are up in stirrups and there are no secrets. It's humbling. No, its mortifying.

I have to invite strangers into my house to evaluate and poke around my cave but I'm not allowed to give any reasons (excuses) for why things are they way they are. For example, if I was the tour guide I would explain that I really meant to buy new pillow cases and no, we did not spill root beer on them. I would explain that the giant TV was my husband's idea and I had to oblige in order to get the sofa that sits in front of it.

It's like filling out a health history at the ob/gyn and there are just boxes to check and dates to fill in. There is no extra page where you can explain that it was the '80's and you are a much better person now. Nor is there a page to stick old photographs of "him" so to prove that you were completely powerless and, if given the chance, most of the women here would have done it too.

Either way, I just don't want people to not say "yuk." Dry rot - crotch rot, it's all the same thing. [Note: I have never had crotch rot] Then, after the nightmare has ended, I'll get an offer on the house or a note from the doctor and it will tell me how I measured up in the world. If I've had any Deferred Maintenance issues. Yuk.

It doesn't matter how many posters you put on the ceiling, I know where I am and I know what's happening.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shoes + Hair = Everything



Your hair and shoes are the most important part of your outfit. You can be walking around in a purple velour jumpsuit and pull it off as long as you're wearing a pair of Jimmy Chu's and a bad-ass hair style.

The opposite is not true; if you're wearing stupid shoes and have on a normal outfit it doesn't work. Even if you are normally attractive. There will be no chance of getting a job, making friends, or starring in your own t.v. sitcom. Please see example picture.

This is a picture of me with my new bad-ass hairstyle. My photographer is eight years old but she works for sliced apples and potato chips. In other words, it looks better in person. At least I think so, but that might be because I'm posing in front of the mirror so I'm able to make the best face possible while avoiding any neck wrinkles that are similar to a turtle vagina.

Doing my hair and make-up this morning was like a covert operation in an eastern block country. I was sitting in bed, talking on the phone when I noticed the shadow of a man right outside my window. His silhouette was hunched over and he was making his way around all my bedroom windows. The remarkable thing is that my bedroom is on the second floor. That's when I remembered that the painters were coming this morning. I wrapped up in my brown bear robe, black mascara smeared around my eyes like a heroin addict model and ducked into my bathroom. Alas, there was another window in there too. So I gathered my tackle and marine crawled into the closet where I'd be safe.

Considering all that, I think I look pretty good. I might just make the closet my new make-up bunker.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I Am Not A Chicken!


This month has bad luck running through it like termites in an old house. Seriously, I cannot catch a break. My daughter's coach is mad at me because, although I do appear to have super powers, I have not mastered reading minds ... yet. Therefore I messed up some forms and now I'm avoiding her. I'm getting my daughter carpooled there and back so the coach can't find me. It's not that I'm chicken or anything, it's just that she's old and if I stay gone long enough she'll forget all about me. So, I'm really just saving her life, that's all. I don't want her last words to be "Sharon, you're killing me with aggravations!"

[I would like to make a side note here: Kathy has commented on my comma love and now I'm totally paranoid to use them. Thanks a lot, BFF!]

Then my sister gets breast cancer. The ironic thing is my nickname for her has always been "BT" that stands for Big Titty. I am "LT" - figure it out. So that's pretty shitty, but I don't know what to say so I haven't even called yet. It's not that I'm chicken, it's just that I don't want to remind her that she has cancer or anything. I mean, why bring it up? I just want her to have a nice day.

Additionally, we're getting ready to put our house on the market. Yet the only thing I can think about is possibly offending my neighbors because I'm not using their landscaping company. I'm hiding from them too. I'm not scared of them. I'm not. I just don't want to hurt their feelings, at least I don't want to see it.

I went to a meeting last night and sat right next to a guy who I've been avoiding for months. He's basically a weakling who gets all red-faced and shaky whenever I disagree with him. Which is most of the time because he's so wrong. But I hide from him because I'm afraid of saying something that will be constructive in the development of his spine which has thus far been weak. Every time I'm around him, all I can think of is all the ways I can publicly humiliate him. There's about nine so far.

Oh, oh oh oh. I almost forgot to tell you the Good News! I got my haircut and I don't look like a flight attendant this time! I got a bang job, and a lovely one it was. When I picked up my 11 year old at school she said "Well look at you!" It's one of those kind of haircuts. A little bit edgy/rocker. Too bad I can't show anyone because I'm either hiding in my home office or driving around with a baseball cap and sunglasses.

So listen up. Here's today's Life Coach Lesson:

Don't be afraid of people [or commas] otherwise you'll be wasting a perfectly good haircut.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Feel Better About Yourself in Five Easy Steps!

Feeling bad about yourself? Lost your job? No relationship, or worse, a shitty one? Stop what you're doing and take these five simple self-help steps to improve your self-esteem.

1. Find a spiritual self-affirmation book. Perhaps something with rays of sunlight or footprints on the cover. Say a daily affirmation each day for seven days. On the eighth day stop. Reflect on the past seven days and thank God you're not the kind of person who has to do that shit every single day.

2. Play a board game with a child. It's really easy to win and you'll feel smart.

3. Hang out with people fatter than you. If you cannot find any, hang out with skinny people and visualize them sticking their fingers down their throat and eating snickers in the closet. There, now aren't you glad you're not like them?

4. Stick a dime in someone else's parking meter and save them from a ticket. Leave a note on their car telling them what you've done. Make sure they know that you did it out of the kindness of your heart because you are a selfless and generous person. Then just sit back and wait for your karma reward.

5. Wear a turtle neck and listen to public radio in your car loud enough for people to hear it and think "Wow, she is so evolved."

Have a better day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Better Half


That's what I'd name this product and what a great product it is! I'd like to expand it's usages to reflect the needs of the average American. Pay attention China.

1. Qualify for the carpool lane by hanging the arm out the passenger window. Enjoy the looks of horror as the passing car takes a gander at your decapitated friend. "Beep Beep! Outta my way or I'll cut your head off too!"

2. Virtual Mommy. a) Use as a prop to keep your infant in a seated position. b) Great for soft spanking. c) "I'll just lay with you until you fall asleep"

3. Hand-job Vibrator. You would need to install some kind of shaking device in the middle two fingers. [Side note: Spray with Scotch Guard first]

4. Win the Vote: "All in favor? Raise your hand."

5. Depression Therapy: A shoulder to cry on plus you can use the pocket to hold your chocolate covered Prozak candy.

6. Beach Toy: Bury in the sand and yell "Shark! Shark!"

7. Chasing: No special trick, just make a frantic schizo face while you run after people, shaking it above your head.

How much extra for the girl? I have work for her too.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cesar Chavez Public Library, Arizona


On March 31st I went to the library. I got a front row parking place! I hoisted my laptop mobile blogging office onto my shoulder and forged ahead. "I'm going to finish up my restaurant review" I tell my daughter.

Surprise! It's Cesar Chavez Day!! What does that mean for you and me? Well, it means that you can shake the doors to the library again and again, bang on them, and make faces into the dark building all you want and they will not open. Why? Because they're closed.

Now I don't know Cesar, mostly because he's dead, but also because I'm not a migrant farm worker being exploited by profit hungry landowners. But, and I'm just using my imagination here, I don't think he would want our public libraries closed. I would think he would be a literacy advocate, right? But the banks were open and the post office still delivered my bills.

Dear Arnold,

Please re-open the libraries so I can blog, I mean read library books about Latino heroes and California history. In return for the gigantic expense of operating a library for a whole day, please feel free to close the post office who only delivers bills, irrelevant catalogs for clothing I don't need, and nasty notes on my car that say "we won't deliver mail unless you move your car away from the mailbox." As a side note, can't we have mail carriers who can get out of a vehicle?

Cesar Chavez day should also be a holiday for the banks so we can have an extra day to make our bad checks into good checks. Seriously, isn't that what Cesar would have wanted?

Thank you,
Sharon the Queen Blogger

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Polaroid Model


When I was 19, I just knew I’d be “discovered.” For what exactly I don’t know. Just “discovered” and somehow whisked away from a life that was beneath me: The working class. An oxymoron. There’s just something about being 19 years old, skinny, blond, and from California that makes girls think their entitled to free stuff. For instance, when I was busted for parking in a handicap space in front of the supermarket, I just had to go on a couple of dates with the cop and voila! No ticket. When my car broke down, I’d just pull into the service station and go on a cruise to the Bahamas with the owner and my car would be fixed.

In my daily commute to my law office job, I had to sit in traffic on the freeway for an hour each way. This provided an excellent opportunity for me to find my Prince or Sugar Daddy or Handler. I was already dressed-up with my hair all 1980’s large with my bright pink lipstick and earrings the size of garbage can lids. I’d have in my Pretenders tape on real loud so he’d notice me. I’d just roll along with my windows down and wait patiently for the magic day.

I thought I should be granted a free apartment in New York or Los Angeles where I’d get all the free clothes, booze, and drugs I wanted. It didn’t matter that my skills consisted of typing 75wpm and disco dancing. I visualized a black New Yorker limo pulling up beside me on the freeway with an important man inside. He’d say something like “It’s her! I’ve found her! I can’t let her get away after waiting my entire life to find her!” But naturally I couldn’t just leave my Toyota Corolla on the side of the freeway like that, so I took a picture of myself with my mom’s Polaroid instant camera and wrote my name and telephone number on the bottom. That way I could just pass my contact information out the window. Besides, that seemed classier.

It was at least ten years later that I came across the picture in my memory drawer. The telephone number was worn off the bottom and my picture had faded. I was impressed with my stupidity, but not my marketing skills.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How am I supposed to be a good wife?


I'm working on 10 things to make you a better wife. In researching this topic, all I've found are articles written by a bunch of touchy feely women with "issues" and "boundaries" and all that psycho babble crap. But I think sensivity is over rated. To prove my point, I'd like to compile information from my readers.

Please ask your husband ...

"If there was one thing that a woman could do to be a better wife, what would it be?"
and then email their response to me sharon[at]bloggerqueen[dot]com.

I'm dying to know!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The First Hit's Always Free


Trader Joe's sample lady must have learned all she knows from a crack dealer ... the first hit is always free. She placed a tiny piece of fish stick into Dill and Jalepeno Tarter sauce and put them in a little paper medicine cup. "here's your medicine"

I'm having Trader Joe's fish sticks with Dill and Jalepeno Tarter sauce for lunch because my restaurant review theme is $10 and under. And while a nice, pleasant shit-together woman might do just fine with that, I require a hellavalota food. I have the appetite of a 17-year old boy (very different from an appetite for a 17-year old boy) so sometimes after I do a restaurant review, I have to come home and eat. In private.

I avoid trying anything I cannot have a lot of. I'm not interested in having a "taste" of anything. It's all or nothing with me. Window shopping: Can't do it. Why would I spend my day looking at things I cannot have? It's like going to model homes and then winding up at your own crappy house at the end of the day. It's never like: "Whew, I'm glad I'm finally out of that well organized, clean, matching decor, house and back into my rabbit cage I call home!"

I think my theory of "the first hit's always free" is a good reason why handsome firefighters should wear horrible Rodney Dangerfield masks and coat themselves with the most repelling fragrance for a woman: Baby throw-up. You know why? Because, you can't just have a firefighter whenever you want to. They show up at the grocery store or your house all nice and helpful in their cute "outfits" with all their "appliances" and then, just when you get used to having them around, bam, they're off on another life saving mission.

I'm just telling you all this for one reason: Stop visually cannibalizing my husband! He's MY firefighter. Go get your own. Do you know what I had to go through to land him? I had to act nice for like a year and a half. Ya ya, I know he deserves better and you're probably better than me, but too bad. I've put a lot of meals into this guy ... and other things ... so he's mine.

Go eat a fish stick instead.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Behind the Scenes of "Warm Puppy" Review


The first restaurant review for Uptake was launched last week. I was as excited as a New Jersey cougar getting her first Bon Jovi tattoo. So far, I've eaten in more restaurants than I've reviewed, but don't worry IRS, I'm saving the receipts for you!

I'm going to give my Blogger Queen fans the "behind the scenes" so you'll know every little secret.

So, here's the first secret:

First Secret

I fucked up already. I didn't research any of my facts, I just wrote what I remembered. Total surprise, I got a bunch of things wrong. I hate facts, they remind me of math. I cannot be expected to fall inside or outside black and white, I just like to hover around grey. Here is an email I received shortly after the launch:

"Read your review of the Warm Puppy with great interest. Loved it. but wanted to correct a couple of inaccuracies...no "t" in SCHULZ. Also, Sparky's office wasn't upstairs, he worked in his studio across the street. The management offices were upstairs, and technically he had an office, but if he was at the rink he was either eating, playing hockey, or watching his daughters figure skate.
He usually started the morning with a light breakfast, and then would come back for lunch (usually driving/sometimes walking). After lunch he would frequently drive over to Coddingtown,buy a single scoop vanilla ice cream cone and then browse books at "books etc" and buy a book or two to add to his huge library.
(Avid reader). If there's any more you want to know, I'll be happy to share. Sparky was a dear friend, and I grew very close to him and his family.
LOVED your review...I still get a very warm feeling when I'm drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream from the warm puppy."


Second Secret

I looked like an idiot sitting there in the Warm Puppy cafe, by myself, taking pictures of a half eaten breakfast wrap. I realized after I ate a few bites that it would have been more appetizing had I not shoved it down my gullet before I snapped the pictures. I almost bought another one, but I didn't want people to think I have an eating disorder.

Third Secret

The person named "barbara" who commented on the restaurant blog ... yah, that's my mom. It doesn't matter how old I get, my mom still embarrasses me.

My new job is pretty fun, but telling you guys about it is even better.

photo credit: MTVnews

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Did you know I'm a pretty Big Deal now?


I do not have an articulated pallet, but I can still do the splits (its not related, I just love to brag about my flexibility). I do not have an advanced education in foodology either, but that didn't stop me from landing a restaurant critic job for Uptake.com. Its a travel website that searches over 5000 travel websites and 20 million opinions to bring you travel reviews like no other. It covers attractions, hotels, restaurants and everything else. There are maps and all kinds of tools for traveling. My first review - click here!

I have to admit, they made an excellent choice. Living in the California wine country for the last 15 years has provided me with a firsthand knowledge of local restaurants in every single category, from five star to four wheels on a taco truck. I'm adventurous with food and I love research and writing.

Why do I get to tell people where and what to eat? Because, and I quote, I'm "edgy". This means that I'm close to the edge and I may just snap at any moment. If you read my restaurant reviews and my blog everyday, you may be lucky enough to actually witness the epic event. I don't have it scheduled, I'll just know when it's the right time to blow.

I've positioned myself as the $10 Diner. I'm going to travel around Napa and Sonoma Counties, and some outlying wine areas too, to see what $10 will get you. That's not to say that I'll only go to cheap restaurants, that would be too easy. I'm going everywhere, to all the restaurants you want to know about. I'll throw down my ten bucks and see what they bring me.

FAQ

Q - Does $10 include tip?
A - Yes, if they deserve a tip I will allocate 20%, because anyone who tips less than that is a douche bag.

Q - What if there is nothing on the menu for $10?
A - I will review the glass of water, the front door, or I may have to steel food from other people's tables while they're in the restroom.

Q - Are you going to tell them you're a restaurant critic?
A - No, but I may tell them that I'm a famous actress and I'll make them guess what movies I've been in. Or I'll pretend I'm deaf and make them pantomime all the dishes to me. I would also like to portray a news reporter who's covering a local bloody murder and claim to have "stuff" all over my shoes.

Q - "Will you take me with you and pay for my meal?"
A - No! Get your own damn free meal job.

Q - Will this go to your head or will you still be the adorable Blogger Queen we've come to love and know.
A - Straight to my head. I can barely even remember being one of you little people anymore. The Bloggerqueen.com will have lots of juicy background secrets behind my reviews. You'll get all the dirt, figuratively speaking.

Twitter me: bloggerqueen
Photo credit: http://hungryhedonist.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Self-Portrait of a Blogger Queen






Its just so hard, you don't even know, to find a picture of myself that matches my writing. My friend Alison says "you need an edgy picture." Oh sure, let me just dust off my dusty box of edgy pictures and find one that says just the right thing.

I want my picture to say:

I'm youthful, but proud of my age, so I'm not trying to look younger or anything. Just hip ... do they say "hip" anymore?

I'm really edgy and dangerous, but don't be afraid to pass this blog along to your sister-in-law.

I'm sexy, but don't get all freaky and make any nasty comments or I'll have to block your ass.

I'm so far ahead of the trend, but at the same time you can completely relate to me.

I have none of those pictures of me, nor can I imagine how I can get one. So I searched the internet and found some pictures that I feel describe the many factors involved with being the Blogger Queen.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Smiling at Strangers: Yes or No?


I'm going to stop smiling at strangers. I just think its better that way, lest my intentions be misinterpreted. I never used to smile at strangers because I grew up in a hostile city environment. We made a point of never making eye contact or speaking to each other. Eyes on the Ground was the rule. Then in my early 20s I moved to Seattle and all of a sudden I noticed women smiling at me and I thought "Jesus Christ there are a lot of lesbians here in Seattle!" I had never had anyone smile at me except for relatives or men who wanted to sleep with me. So, naturally I assumed that these women wanted to take me to a softball game and listen to Melissa Etheridge while we wore matching purple fleece pullovers.


Later I found out that people were trying to be "friendly". I was amused by their naivete; however, in an effort to always fit in, I made a concerted effort to start smiling at strangers and using the good manners mom taught me. It worked out for the good and the bad. But I'm now considering reverting back to my old No Smile Code because its just easier.

There's this guy who comes to the gym a lot. He's young, in good shape, and in a wheelchair. I passed by him today and smiled. Then my Shitty Committee started in on me

Shitty Committee: Did you give that man a sympathetic smile?!

Me: No, no, I just smiled, I swear!

Shitty Committee: You better not have, you know you're not so perfect either.

Me: I never said I was, Jesus, I just smiled at the guy.

Shitty Committee: Well, stop treating him different.

Me: I tried to look as normal as I could. I just smiled. Nothing out of the ordinary

Shitty Committee: Oh really? Then why aren't you smiling at every single other guy who you walked past? Hmmm?

Me: All right you caught me. I was trying to be nice. I'm not perfect either, its just that out of all the shortcomings I've been dealt in life, none of them have wheels. What do you want me to do? Wear a sign that says "I'm fucked up too!"

Shitty Committee: Yes. Meeting adjourned.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fix the Economy with Coconut Pudding


When I told some friends about the authentic Hawaiian food at Hukilau, they had this sort of distinguished look on their face, nodding in approval, and saying “oh, poi and roasted pig?” and I said “Nope. REAL Hawaiian Food: Like a egg on top of a hamburger patty, on top of a bowl of sticky white rice covered with gravy! You know REAL Hawaiian food?” I’m a Spam lover too, but since I wanted to enjoy the coconut pudding, I ordered the chicken salad with the Maui Onion dressing on the side. It was super tasty.

I didn’t have time to eat my coconut pudding there; so I ordered it to go. I threw in a paper napkin and a pair of chopsticks. Fast forward one hour; I’m sitting in front of my gym (yes, the gym) with the container full of firm fresh coconut pudding and chopped pineapple and a pair of chop sticks. I gobbled it up while listening to the horrible state of the economy. But you know what? When I have coconut pudding, I don’t really care about the economy … for a moment.

I was there on official secret business with Uptake and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (promoting their campaign, “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile”,trying to score on a free trip to Hawaii. Apparently I have just as much chance as everybody else. I entered their contest and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. You should enter it too!

Monday, March 2, 2009

"You're Fat"

I had a stirring deep in my belly like goldfish swimming in Jello. It was a funny tickly feeling that was pulling at memories from years ago. I placed my hand gently on my soft belly and noticed that, yes, it was larger and more smushy than before. I casually wondered if I had stomach cancer, because I always think I have cancer. For instance, when I'm tired, I think I might have a touch of sleep cancer. When I have a headache that feels serious, I consider brain cancer as a diagnosis. Then there's the lovely note I got after my very first mammogram "We have detected an area in your x-ray that is irregular" and then it goes on to say "Check back with us in six months for another x-ray" What?! I could be dead by then.

So a sea monkey in my abdomen sounds like either stomach cancer or a spiky green parasite that I must have picked from grocery store sushi. Either way, I'm screwed. So I went to the doctor. He was not my regular O.B. who looks like Professor Honeydew from the Muppets. This guy looks more like Herman Munster without the heavy pancake make-up and platform Doc Martens. He fully examines me on the table. We know what that means, right girls? He's quiet for a minute then says "Get dressed and we'll talk."

Like I said, I'm screwed. I don't know what kind of bomb he's going to drop so I'm completely unprepared for my dramatic reaction. Throughout my life I've rehearsed all my reactions to terrible news, just in case: The crying like a Baptist Minister's Wife; the stoic Angelo Saxon widow; off the deep end with drugs, booze, and men like Marilyn Monroe. But what roll shall I play today?

I'm dressed and waiting. A quiet pause from the doctor is accompanied by averted eyes and shifty body movements, like a 14-year old boy at a school dance. He finally says "Sharon, I have good news and I have bad news: The good news is that you're not pregnant. The bad news is that you're fat." And then I wake up.

I had that dream when I was turning 40. I had reached my largest weight ever and I had tried buying new shoes and more make-up, but nothing worked. So I got a personal trainer and he kicked my ass into a beautiful piece of art.

That was four years, one ass, and a spine ago. You see, after I competed in the triathlon last year, my back and neck have not been the same. My exercise has been very limited. Like, swimming only. I can pretty much just swim. That's okay for a while, but I've gained back almost all of my yucky weight. On Saturday I decided I needed to organize my nutrition so that the monster that I turn into at night, the one who makes me eat Napoleon Dynamite style nachos and frozen taquitos, will be beheaded. My personal trainer put me on a great program a few years ago. The only problem is that I HATE math. I also have no memory. I just want someone or something to keep track of it for me. Is that asking too much? I mean, I keep track of the girls' sport schedules, my husband's work schedule, both school's schedules, my daughters food allergies, and all the other things we all do. So for once, can't someone else just help a girl out?

I'm trying a free 7 day trial from Calorie King and so far, I'm pretty happy. What I already learned is that my night time feeding shark crazy sessions are probably due to the fact that I haven't had enough protein during the day. So last night I had some tuna and voila, I stopped eating. I have already lost one pound.

This morning I went to see my chiropractor and he asked me if I was pregnant. I was laying down on the Spine-o-lator, or something, and I turned my head like Regan from The Exorcist and said "What did you call me?" In a tone reminiscent of my teenage years as a bad-ass. He assured me he was just joking. You see, two of his other patients in the room were pregnant and we were all there at the same time. I had no choice but to go over his head and tell his chiropractor wife "Will you please explain this to him?" She gave me a nod of assurance. Boy, do I feel sorry for him. Well, not that sorry.

Bye bye fat wings!